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Wisconsin's Population Nears 5.5 Million

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The state Department of Administration says the state grew by 126,000 residents, or 2.4 percent, between April first of 2001 and January first of this year.

Much of the state's growth was concentrated in the Fox River Valley; western counties bordering the Twin Cities, Dane County and southeastern Wisconsin.

The fastest growing city was Hudson, located in St. Croix County, which saw its population increase 15 percent. The city is about 20 miles east of St. Paul, Minnesota, along Interstate 94.

Local planning officials have said the growth is due to the continuing rise in the number of people who commute to jobs in nearby Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Dane and Waukesha counties had the largest numeric growth. St. Croix and Calumet counties recorded the fastest rates of growth.

State and local governments rely upon estimates for aid distribution under several state programs. County and municipal officials will review the population estimates in the coming weeks.

A final report will be available by early November.